Sunday, December 06, 2009

Happy, ahem, Holidays

"However each of you celebrates the season, I hope it's wonderful."

Those words, and the experience of the evening, changed me. I had been complaining, quietly, about the fact that Vita had changed from having a 'Christmas party' to a 'Holiday celebration'. I protested the fact that 'it's Christmas, damn it' to any who would listen. Even so, I understood the 'pressure' placed on us all and the need to 'compromise'. But it pissed me off.

But then, when I got to the celebration, I chose to sit at a table where we knew virtually no one well. And over the course of the next hour or so watched the incredibly wonderfully diversity of the agency as people mixed and mingled. The party was full of racial diversity, religious diversity, sexual diversity, ability diversity, it was also full of a wonderful camaraderie. Where there should have been tension, there was none. Where hostilities would have been predicted, there was none. While diversity has many faces, joy has but one source. And there was laughter aplenty.

People came dressed as themselves.

People came expecting welcome and receiving it.

It's what we believe in as an agency, it's just rare to see it practiced. So easily, so smoothly.

So when Manuela wished us all, in our uniqueness, to celebrate, in our diversity, it seemed really right. And my attitude seemed really petty and completely childish. It takes a bigger heart to live in a bigger world. I needed to make room in my chest. And so, I did.

I'm cool with inclusion. I just didn't realize that I had to go about the business of including ... too.


MJ in Michigan said...

"It takes a bigger heart to live in a bigger world." Wow. This is really a lovely sentiment, and it really moved me that you opened yourself to this change in perspective. Thank you for a beautiful thought to end my evening.

Roia said...

"I'm cool with inclusion. I just didn't realize that I had to go about the business of including ... too."

Nice insight, Dave.

ivanova said...

Nice one! This Jew applauds.

Unknown said...

I love your honesty - I am always surprised and sometimes humbled when I find myself in a similar position. I wish I found myself in the position of humility more often - maybe someday.

Bibliotekaren said...

I really enjoy your thoughts you share with us Dave. The quotes that MJ and Roia touched on jumped out at me too.

Kate said...

Powerful post. This Jew applauds too. I would have been surprised had you remained in your anti-holiday party position. I hate the focus on Xmas. Hate it! No Hanukah stuff in stores. Wouldnt even know it was Hanukah. Anyway. I love the line, came expecting welcome, and recieved it. Man I have to remember that line! Life works better when you expect things to work.

Adelene said...

I'm saving this to pull out next time someone needs an explanation of 'checking their privilege'. Wonderfully put, Dave. ^.^

Anonymous said...

lol! I still cant resist saying happy christmas instead of season's greetings myself! ...but I take any excuse for a party! Rebecca x

Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little said...

Thank you from a Solstice-celebrating Pagan who hopes your Christmas was wonderful.